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Director General Joy Jibrilu stands with Minister of Tourism the Hon. Obie Wilchombe at the World Travel Awards. Minister Wilchcombe was awarded Travel Personality of the year. Officials say Minister Wilchombe has made a positive, defining impact to the industry, not only over the last 12 months, but over the course of a lifetime. The Bahamas also took home six other awards at the prestigious event. (Photo/Letisha Henderson)
EXUMA, Bahamas – Bahamas Minister of Tourism Hon. Obediah Wilchcombe is the Caribbean’s leading Travel Personality of 2015, a special honor bestowed by World Travel Awards (WTA) to acknowledge monumental contributions to the travel and tourism industry.
Minister Wilchcombe was presented with “the most prestigious award of the year” at the 22nd Annual World Travel Awards Caribbean and North America Ceremony 2015 at the Sandals Emerald Bay Resort on October 17.
According to WTA President and Founder Graham Cooke, the Travel Awards Academy met to review suitable candidates and unanimously one name came to the fore. He noted that Minister Wilchcombe has made a positive, defining impact to the industry, not only over the last 12 months, but over the course of a lifetime.
“It is quite an honor to receive this prestigious award on behalf of The Bahamas because this award is not just for me; it is for the Bahamian people. This award is also for the taxi drivers, the straw vendors, the hotel employees, and all of the hard working Bahamians in the tourism industry,” Minister Wilchcombe said.
Hailed as “The Oscars of the Travel Industry”, World Travel Awards is acknowledged across the globe as the ultimate travel accolade, and celebrates brands and destinations that are pushing the boundaries of industry excellence.
It was an exciting evening of glitz and glamour for The Islands of The Bahamas, snagging six awards in total in several prestigious categories before an audience of travel and tourism leaders from across the Caribbean and North American region.
Caribbean’s Travel Personality of the Year – Bahamas Tourism Minister, Hon. Obediah Wilchcombe
Caribbean’s Leading Luxury Island Destination 2015 – The Bahamas
Caribbean’s Leading Conference Hotel 2015 – Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort, Great Exuma, Bahamas
Caribbean’s Leading Private Island Destination 2015 – Fowl Cay Resort, Bahamas
Best Bahamas Spa Resort 2015 – Sandals Royal Bahamian, Nassau, Bahamas
Best Bahamian Villa 2015 – Grand Isle Resort, Exuma, Bahamas
All award winners will attend the World Travel Awards Grand Final in Morocco this December.
Tourism Director General Joy Jibrilu accepted the award for Caribbean’s Leading Luxury Island Destination 2015 on behalf of The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.
“When you looked around the room and saw all of the prestigious winners, and to know that The Bahamas is ranking among them, you know we are doing something right,” said Mrs. Jibrilu.
“We will not rest on our laurels however, and we have our eyes on several more categories. I hope that these awards encourage the Bahamian people, all of us, to perform even better, to make our country even greater so that next year we will claim even more prestigious World Travel Awards.”
The industry’s elite, including CEOs of leading travel companies, government ministers and tourist board officials from throughout the region, attended the red carpet event.
Guests were treated to performances by The Royal Bahamas Police Force Pop Band, the sultry sounds of Alia Cole, and the sights and sounds of Crusaders Junkanoo Group.